Artistic Digitizer V1.5

At our recent Janome Dealer Institute, the developers of our  Artistic Digitizer  embroidery software were present for for the unveiling of the new version of the software which is a FREE update….how cool is that?!

Janome  has announced the  main features of this update on our Janome global site.

Artistic Digitizer V1.5 Full version includes the following new and improved features/functions (for more details, please view the tutorial videos available at the bottom of this page):

1. Fresh new Welcome screen and User Interface

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2. MC550E and RE36b hoop compatibility:
Janome’s brand new embroidery machine – MC550E, and RE36b hoop (200 mm x 360 mm) added.

3. New Stitch Flow Tool functionality:
Includes the ability to set the direction of stitches; specify the sections where a satin object will be divided; add curve directions on step filled objects to give them a wavy look; and convert a satin object to a “Point Directions” object so that all stitches start from one point and end at the outline of the object. Use the new stitch flow tools to improve embroidery quality and look of your designs.
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4. New ‘Convert’ icon:
Easily apply numerous different functions to designs or objects through this newly added icon.

5. PaintStitch:
Paint stitch is a unique patented technique which converts a picture into embroidery through skillful reduction of the number of colors and blending in such a way that makes it look like a painted canvas. With PaintStitch you get photo-realistic embroidery results with the use of the advanced, patented algorithms which are implemented in the software. PaintStitch designs are perfect for frames, gifts and for capturing unique moments.

6. Floral Library / Automatic Floral Design Creation:
This is a new revolutionary feature which dynamically creates floral designs and fill areas to apply to your designs. You can combine this feature with your own designs and even create your own flower designs to be used by the floral creation. The combinations are unlimited.

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7. Ambience Quilting:
Offers the ability to easily create a quilt block based on any design or object (Echo, Scroll and Stippling quilt block types available).

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8. Redwork:
Offers the ability to convert any design or object into Redwork in just one step.

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9. Convert fill to center line:
Offers the ability to change a fill area made with satin, step, row fill etc. into satin serial or running stitch. Using this function, you have the ability to change a fill area made with Satin, Step, Row fill etc. into Satin serial or Running stitch. This functionality is especially convenient for small text objects. If the text is too small to be filled with Satin stitches, the best alternative is to fill the object with Running stitches by applying this option.

10. New Sequence Re-ordering capabilities
The Sequence manager has been re-designed with many new features. It has a new right-click menu which includes functionality such as “Move object before or after”, “Group objects”, “Reverse order”, and more. To facilitate the re-ordering process, order numbers have been added together with fill and outline colors for each object. You can also group the objects by color and customize the information you view on the sequence manager to minimize clutter when re-ordering large designs.

11. Gradient Fill – create designs with blended thread colors:
With the Gradient parameter, you can adjust the end stitch density of an object compared to the start density and blend colors together. By blending two or more overlapping shapes with gradient fill you can create beautiful fading color effects.

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12. Spiral in Closed Shapes:
Objects filled with the Row fill stitch type can easily be converted into spiral fill objects. Apply styles on the spiral stitches to get beautiful embroidery results.

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13. New File Browser
– find and organize your designs more easily:
V1.5 contains a fresh new browser system which allows easy access to and management of embroidery designs within the user’s computer.

14. Dark Mode:
With V1.5, Mac users can now use Artistic Digitizer in Dark Mode.

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Artistic Digitizer V1.5 Jr contains the following improvements: MC550E and RE36b hoop compatibility; new welcome screen and improved file browser system; new sequence re-ordering; expanded zoom capabilities; dark mode compatibility for Mac.

Existing Artistic Digitizer V1.0 users are able to upgrade to V1.5 free of charge. To install this upgrade, simply make sure you have a stable internet connection then open the software and through the Help tab, click Check for updates and follow the instructions displayed.

Tutorial videos explaining the new features can be viewed through the following link (internet connection required):

Jump to tutorial video page

These videos can also be downloaded through the following link in order to be accessed anytime without the need to be connected to the internet (download file size: 141MB):

Click here to download videos

These videos will also be viewable through the software’s built-in tutorial system once V1.5 has been installed (internet connection required).Artistic Digitizer V1.5 – available for free to existing Artistic Digitizer customers!

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Janome and Madeira

There’s something new at Janome Canada. We have added several items to the sewing room. In this post, we will tell you about some of the Madeira products.  Janome is the only distributor of Madeira products in Canada.

There’s nothing better than testing new products, but since it’s summer and we want to enjoy the beautiful weather, I got three things done in one: the t-shirts are embroidered, the stabilizer is tested as well as the thread.

Madeira “Super Stable” Stabilizer and 100% polyester embroidery thread from Madeira.

The MADEIRA cut away stabilizer is not completely removed from the fabric. It stabilizes the design during and after embroidery, and it also prevents the fabric from slipping. The excess stabilizer is removed by cutting around the embroidery. The non-woven ‘Super Stable’ is thermosticky and is ideal for stretchy fabrics. To get a good result, it must be ironed on the back of the fabric and inserted into the hoop at the same time as the garment.

Screen on my iPad.
The details are hard to see as they are embroidered tone on tone.

Have you ever used quilting patterns for embroidery? These are from the AcuDesign app in the ‘Expressions of Texture’ category. I embroidered these t-shirts with the same method and stabilizer but to give texture to the designs, I slipped a piece of cotton fabric stuff under the embroidery (the photo does not do justice to the result). And to embellish these simple patterns, I glued thermosticky beads.

The large pattern is embroidered on the front of the t-shirt and the small pattern near the back neckline.

Here I practiced the ‘Auto Fit hoop’ function, the AcuDesign app,  which generates stitches automatically according to the size of the chosen hoop. I embroidered both patterns with MADEIRA 100% polyester thread colour 1511.

Pattern embroidered in the center of the front of the t-shirt with the SQQ14 hoop.
Pattern embroidered at the back neckline of the t-shirt with the small FA free arm hoop.

Visit the website to see all their products and go to your local Janome authorized merchant to stock up on embroidery groceries!!!

Originally Published by  Céline Ross on Vie Janome. Edited by Anne-Margaret and Liz Thompson for janomelife. 

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GLAD YOU ASKED THAT: How do I digitize a simple in-the-hoop project?

Digitizing an “In The Hoop” Sleep Mask – Part 1

Did you hear? Artistic Digitizer just released a FREE update to their software. Work along with me this week to make your own “In The Hoop” Sleep Mask, from basic drawing to top-stitching. Ready? Grab a hot beverage of your choice (or cold if it’s still warm where you are lol) and settle in for a great tutorial with written instructions, photo’s AND a video. Our thanks to janomegirl for bringing us this great tutorial! Ed.


Don’t worry if your drawing is a little wonky, you can fix that during digitizing.

First of all, sketch your sleep mask. I totally eyeballed it, and drew alongside the fold of a piece of  scrap paper so that when I cut it out, it was relatively symmetrical. Then I traced it again to add a little bit more space. Once I was happy with it, I took a photo and emailed it to myself to save on the computer.

Next, open up Artistic Digitizer and start a new project. Using the “from file” button on the top menu bar, find your photo/image and open it as a backdrop. At this point I also enabled the Grid through the View tab.

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Once your background is in place, it’s time to digitize the basic shape of the sleep mask. To do this, I selected “Digitize” on the left vertical menu bar, and then picked “Freehand Shape”. This allows you to draw in straight line segments.

Screenshot (228)

Now you get to make your shape! Starting at the middle of the top, click and move to each individual point where the shape changes. The line will go from pink to black, and back and forth until you decide where to end it. Note: you need to click twice on each point to make your line continuous. Use the reference lines on the grid to measure/confirm where you want your stitching lines to be placed.

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The pink line shows where your stitching line is. Right click on it to finish the shape.

When digitizing symmetrical shapes, taking advantage of the ‘duplicate’ and ‘mirror’ functions is very helpful. To create the other half of the sleep mask, I did that and then lined up the two sections of stitching so that they touched one another. (In the video linked at the end of this post you’ll see another way of making the shape. I much prefer this duplicate function!)

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Once the two sections were in the correct place, I combined them to make them stitch out in one complete section. (Select both, right-click and choose ‘combine’)

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The menu when you right-click on a selected object.

The important thing to remember when you are digitizing in-the-hoop projects is to visualize how they will stitch out. Then, create your stitches in the order that they will stitch. This prevents having to confuse yourself with the sequencing at the end.

Once your basic shape is created, duplicate it twice, so that you have 3 of the same shape showing in the sequence menu. Change the color of the middle one. Changing the color of the stitches tells the machine to stop even if you aren’t actually going to change the thread. This is what you want here.

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To see all of the stitches you have created in a design, click ‘Auto’ on the top bar to switch to ‘Manual’ sequencing. (Manual shown in above picture)

Now you can add your detail stitches, such as eyelashes or text. When digitizing curved lines, choose ‘outline shape’ from the Digitize tab on the left. This creates curved sections of stitching.

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There are three options for finishing a shape: Finish, Close and End. ‘Finish’ lets you keep on adding, ‘Close’ will connect the first and last point, and ‘End’ tells the software that you are finished with that area.

Make sure to duplicate your eyelid shape to make the other side, and then combine them to have them stitch at the same time. When you add lashes, simply duplicate the eyelid segment (don’t forget to change the color of the stitching) and change the stitches to a decorative stitch. There are hundreds of dec. stitches in our Artistic Digitizer software to choose from!

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Now you can add some text! A witty saying, or endearment will totally finish this cute little project and make it gift-able in an instant! My daughter wants one that says “Go Away” lol.

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Did you know? Artistic Digitizer will stitch out any True-Type font that is installed on your computer!

Next up is the elastic lines. I used 1/2″ fold-over elastic for mine. It’s smooth and not overly tight when stretched out. I placed two lines of zig-zag stitching even with the eyes on the mask, so that it was approximately centered between the top and bottom. But it is your choice for the placement – place it where you are comfortable. You can have it stitch out separately or consecutively, whatever your preference is. I chose to have it the same color and stop the machine as it re-positions to stitch the other side.

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You’ll notice in the previous picture that there are two lines of stitching, one approximately half an inch bigger than the other. This is so that there is extra seam allowance to attach the elastic. This is quite easy to manipulate using the corners and edges of the selected section.

Remember how we duplicated our initial shape twice? If you go back in the sequencing to find that third line of stitches, you can click and drag it to the end of the sequence and adjust the nodes of the stitching line to leave an opening for turning. It’s really hard to capture that in words, so have a look at the accompanying video for the full experience of digitizing a sleep mask. You can click here to watch it.

Make sure you come back later this week on Friday 20th September to find out how it looks all stitched out, and what I discovered only after I had stitched out the first one.

Until next time,



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Yes, the Fall is almost upon us and its time for our Creativ Festival Fall shows…….

Next one is in Calgary at Spruce Meadows Show grounds just south of Calgary. This takes place next week on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st September.  Here is the link to their website for more information. 

Our Janome team will be available on the Sewing World booth.  Please come visit and say hi, bring any great projects you have made since we last saw you and be sure to have any questions you may have to be answered by our staff.   In fact, this is your opportunity to meet Janomelife blogger, Janomegirl……so come on over!

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Mixed Media Fun with the Janome MC9450


Sometimes it’s fun to step outside your comfort zone and try something new and this project will make you do just that! I usually use the Janome MC9450 to stitch fabric, but did you know that it does an amazing job when stitching on paper? Well, it does and I’m going to show you how!

Janome MC9450 front - 1

The project we’re going to make uses dictionary paper as a background and includes appliqué, free motion quilting, and some optional embellishing. It’s a good way to use up scrap fabrics and bits of trim that you might have in your quilt studio. This was such a fun project to do with the help of the Janome MC9450.

Dictionary Paper Project Finished - 1

To make this project, you’ll need:

  • Pages from old books – I like to use dictionary pages – look for cast-off dictionaries or encyclopedias at your local library or used book store
  • Fabric scraps in a variety of colours for appliqué pieces
  • Glue stick
  • Erasable pen/pencil or Frixion pen
  • Thread for free motion quilting
  • Janome MC9450 sewing machine, set up for free-motion quilting


  • Colouring pencils, pastels or crayons
  • Buttons, rick rack, lace or other embellishments
  • Permanent glue if using embellishments
  • Picture frame

Dictionary Paper Project Supplies

Note: I did a sample first which is always a good idea when trying a new technique.

First, you’ll need a background so find your favourite dictionary page (what words would you like to see in your background?) and tear or cut it out.

Next, decide what type of design you want to create and cut out the appliqué shapes from your fabric scraps. I created a floral design for my project by cutting out a flower shape and some leaves. You don’t need to be too fussy with these – just have fun free cutting out the designs.

Arrange your appliqués on the dictionary paper and use the glue stick to hold them in place. I like to have my designs offset, rather than in the centre as I think it adds more interest.

You’ll be free motion quilting these appliqués but you might also want to add some additional quilting directly on the paper background. In my sample, I added some swirls and leaves. I used a Frixion pen to draw out these shapes first so I could use them as a guide when I stitched them with the Janome MC9450.

Tip: If you do use a Frixion pen to draw reference quilting lines, use an iron on low heat to remove the marks after you have finished quilting. Don’t try to erase them with the Frixion pen – it didn’t work out too well for me!

The next step is to set up your Janome MC9450 for free-motion quilting and choose a contrasting thread so you’ll be able to see it on the background and on the fabric appliqués.

Note: If you don’t know how to set up your Janome sewing machine for free-motion quilting, I have a video that shows you how to do that.

Dictionary Paper Project at machine Sample - 1

There are a variety of free-motion quilting feet that come with the Janome MC9450: I used the open toe darning foot (my favourite!) as I love the great visibility.

Once you’ve finished stitching down the appliqués, continue your free motion quilting on the reference lines that you drew on the paper. The secret to successful stitching on paper is to take it slow and make sure that your stitches aren’t too small – or you might end up with a torn background. This is where the speed control on the Janome MC9450 was a big help!

Janome MC9450 speed control

You might want to add a small strip of fabric to the background and free motion stitch an inspirational word or quote on it. This makes a nice touch, especially if you are giving this as a gift.

Dictionary Paper Project word sample - 1

When you are satisfied with the stitching you’ve done, take your project out of the sewing machine.

Now it’s time to have some colouring fun! You can use your pastels or pencil crayons to add some colour to the background paper. I added some colour to the free motion quilted leaves in my project. You don’t have to add too much colour – as you can see from my first attempt! This is definitely a case where less is more.

Dictionary Paper Project colour sample - 1.jpg

I added a button to the flower centre with permanent glue. This is also the time when you could add additional embellishments, such as lace or rick rack. I think that this would make a nice border. You can use a glue stick to anchor these to the paper background.

Version 2

When you’re happy with your design, you can put it in a picture frame to hang in your studio or give it as a gift.

If you’d like to watch how I created my floral project, click on the image below for a video with step-by-step instructions.YT Dictionary Paper ProjectI hope you’ll give this project a try with your Janome sewing machine!

Happy stitching from Kim Jamieson-Hirst, Janome Canada Artisan in Calgary, Alberta.

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Quick and Easy Quilting Fun with Janome

I think something which we’re all looking for these days is more time. Time to complete our growing list of responsibilities, but also time to try to complete our growing list of fun, creative sewing and quilting projects we want to make.

A huge time-saver is to use our fabulous Janome machines and computer/ software options to make quick and easy work of whatever the project at hand. This was certainly the case when I wanted to make yet another of my favourite tote bags. I mentioned in some previous posts that my favourite, go-to tote bag pattern is The Everyday Tote by Elaine Theriault for Northcott fabrics.


It’s the perfect blank canvas to showcase some cool fabric, but to also add any sort of embellishments you wish. For this latest tote I added the front pocket for some extra organization as I always have so much to carry to my Janome presentations.


The pockets for my tote were first quilted on the Janome Quilt Maker Pro18 using the Pro Stitcher Premium software, which is an optional accessory to be added to the either the Janome Quilt Maker Pro 18 or the new Janome Quilt Maker Pro 16.



I loaded the frame with black backing, batting and black fabric for the top and stitched a few of the HUNDREDS of designs built-in to the Pro Stitcher Premium software. Enter whatever dimensions you want, and let Pro Stitcher Premium do all the hard work for you. You don’t always have to quilt just quilts! Instead, cut up the fabric after it’s quilted to use for whatever you need for your project. Shown below are the two inside pockets, one of which I chose to bind and used an applique blanket stitch to sew it to the main body lining piece.


In addition to the tote bag pockets, I quilted one pass of a continuous line, or edge-to-edge design to make a bed runner, or table runner. Once I had the fabric off the frame, I squared it up, added the black and white floral borders, used a flat yarn in red for punch of colour, and voila! A reversible table runner or bed runner quilted, sewn and completed in an afternoon. How easy is that?!


For the body of the tote bag I elected to quilt it on my fabulous Janome Horizon MC 15000 Quiltmaker.  With it’s 11″ throat space, extra-large extension table, included Dual/ Twin AcuFeed Flex holder with standard AD foot, and quilting guide bar, I had everything I needed to get the parallel rows of crosshatching done in a flash!

Don’t worry if your machine doesn’t come with everything I mentioned above as these are all available separately, as well. Another optional accessory to make quilting easier is the Long Quilting Guide Bar set, which has an extra long guide bar for use BOTH right and LEFT of the presser foot. IMG_4056

Please check the Janome Accessory Guide, and with your Janome dealer to be sure you get the correct optional presser feet and accessories for your machine.

Another time-saving element of this tote bag was that I used fabrics from my stash, so didn’t have to take time to drive to the store for supplies, which for me, is about 30 minutes away. Not too far, but not exactly around the corner, either. But what’s really special is that included in my stash was the LAST fat quarter  (another time-saver is to use pre-cuts!), which was the red, my favourite colour, from a beautiful fat quarter bundle of Kimberly Einmo’s Solid-ish fabric line for Timeless Treasures.

Photo from Kimberly Einmo’s website

I literally coveted this fabric as it was personally given to me by Kimberly and her equally adorable husband, Kent, who everyone affectionately refers to as Mr. Kim. I met them both at Houston International Quilt Festival two years ago, as, in addition to being a sought-after teacher, designer, Craftsy/Bluprint instructor, author, Kimberly is also the National Spokesperson for Janome America!


She also recently got to make the BIG announcement at the Janome Institute unveiling the two new fabulous Janome machines you’ve likely heard about; The Janome Continental M7 Professional  and Janome Memory Craft 550E This was us in the Janome booth when I showed her that I used every last scrap of her luscious fabric in my tote bag.


Even the selvage! which I stitched to the bottom insert, which helps give the tote bag body and support. As I explained to Kimberly, when you adore the fabric as much as the lady who designed it, you use EVERY piece of it!


What will YOU make with your Janome machine today?

Happy Sewing!

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Divide and Conquer……. Janome’s Perfect pair!

You have no doubt seen a bunch of photo’s and info already on social media about the recent launch of our fabulous new Janome Continental M7 top of the line sewing and quilting machine. We have posted to our Instagram and Facebook feeds as well as to but we wanted to wait until the machines were actually IN our Janome Canada Dealer stores before we told you a bit more on janomelife.

Why have we called this post: DIVIDE AND CONQUER? I have to claim fame on this one: I was thinking long & hard about what titles to give to our Fall classes here in Canada and hit upon this idea for our class where we introduce the Continental M7 and 55oE to you at select Janome Canada Dealer stores. We have already posted a couple of times about our Fall Ed event menu so I won’t blab on about that again.

Today we feature the Continental M7 part of the perfect Janome pair.

Suffice to say we are thrilled we can now SEW or  QUILT on one top of the line machine while we can EMBROIDER on another separate embroidery machine at the same time with the largest hoop of any Janome….ever!  Divide your machine functions and conquer even more projects and UFO’s?!  They are indeed the perfect pair! 

There really is SEW much to tell you about this fabulous new machine…… It is hard to know where to start. We will be bringing you lots more posts in the coming months about this machine so let’s do a quick overview here.


The machine has  a staggering 13.7 inches (in left needle position) by 5.5inches of throat space – the largest of any domestic sewing machine currently on the market.

The extension table is HUGE ( see the dimensions in the pic above) and the little built in drawer on the left front of the table for your accessories and needle plates is WONDERFUL  and practical.

And the BIG screen – as clear and bright as an ipad  – is located centrally on the front of the machine for easy operation.

ALL Janome firsts:

  1. The bobbin sensor is an optical one which detects through the middle of the bobbin and not just at the start and end of sewing so it continuously looks for bobbin thread volume to alert you to put a new bobbin in.
  2. The computerized fully automatic needle plate removal has to be seen to be believed. It got rounds of applause in all the classes at our Dealer convention where we showed this feature. Our dealers loved it and so will you!
  3. The Continental M7 has a unique and very special intelligent feeding system which will blow your socks off! We will tell you more in future posts but the improvements and additions to our Acufeed system and feed dog design is nothing short of brilliant.

All the sewing and quilting you love to do is still there….you are going to have so much fun!

Now this is incredible: Even if you don’t own this machine, you can go to the App store and download this FREE app. It works with the new Continental M7 but you will be able to see what it offers: it’s like a dedicated instruction manual, workbook and foot book right there on your smart phone. It works with QR codes on the M7 screen so all you do is hold your cell phone over the code and it takes you right to the appropriate page in AcuSpark INSTANTLY. More information at your fingertips: about stitches, feet, sewing techniques and much more. No flipping around the manual to find the page with info you seek.

And before you get hot under the collar: AcuSpark is currently available for iPhones and iPads BUT will be available for Android as well soon. So no need to fret if you have an android phone or tablet!

We are conducting launch events and our Divide and Conquer class across Canada this Fall.  You might want to contact your local Janome dealer to find out when they will have this incredible machine in store for you to visit and see firsthand OR attend one of our Janome Canada Education events…..see you in Humboldt  and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan next week – They may still have space so phone to book your seat real soon! But if you don’t live in Saskatchewan, all our educators are visiting stores across Canada this Fall so call your dealer to find out more about the M7 and whether we will be visiting their store.

More coming on Wednesday 25th September about our NEW Janome MC550E…..stay tuned! 


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Project of the month: Acufil quilted mug rug using the JANOME HP2 foot for the quilt binding


Just look what we made……. a neat little mug rug. but how did we do it?

  • The quilting was done using lime green Madeira embroidery thread: We sandwiched a small quilt sandwich and quilted it in the hoop. Madeira thread is distributed by Janome in Canada. Check if your local Janome or Elna dealer is stocking this awesome thread.

  • Many of you who are familiar with our Janome embroidery machines may recognize the design we used. It is an old favorite embroidery machine built-in quilting design. The embroidery goes right through all 3 layers of the sandwich so our embroidery unit becomes the means by which we quilt! Pretty quick and easy.
  • You don’t need to hoop up a big quilt sandwich (and then trim off and waste fabric). All we used  was a small 8 inch square. That may not be large enough to hoop. No matter, just ensure the bottom layer – your quilt backing – is a little larger.  We used the Janome SQ14 hoop – all you need is a hoop large enough for the design of your choice. The batting and top layer can be smaller.
  • Next up was to baste the 3 layers using the wonderful basting function in the embroidery mode. This secures the top 2 layers to the backing so no shifting will happen during the embroidery. You can spray with a little glue if you wish but it is not essential.
  • Now trim the mug rug to the size you require making sure you square it up so that the design is centered perfectly on the fabric. Our trimmed size was 7 inches square.
  • Cut a 2 inch wide strip of fabric for the binding. I could certainly have added the binding using the JANOME QUILT BINDER SET. However, in this case, I decided to see how it would work using the NEW JANOME HP2 foot. We have done quite a few posts about this foot already so be sure to check this link. Please note that this foot is ONLY compatible with the HP needle plate and JANOME models where the HP foot and needle plate are compatible.

    •  I usually do not use the HP2 foot for this because it is quite fiddly to get the straight stitching really precise and perfectly equi-distant from the edge of the binding. I find it much easier to use a decorative stitch such as the Serpentine stitch. However, that is not possible with the HP2 foot as it is for straight stitching only …….So I took a deep breath and went for it! I needn’t have worried as the inside edge of the left part of the foot rode perfectly along the edge of the binding allowing a lovely straight stitch just onto the binding to the right of this. The Acufeed Flex system worked like a dream and I am pretty buzzed with my mug rug and the Janome HP2 foot which did a great job for me!

Note the inside edge of the left side of the foot is lined up along the edge of the binding

  • We sewed the binding onto the BACK of the mug rug as the plan was to flip the binding to the front to sew it down.
  • It is very helpful to use the Auto presser foot lift/ pivot function as it will be a lot easier to turn and have perfect, neat stitching at the corners.

Many of our Janome Machines’s have this clever feature: icon marked black on the top right is pivot function. Be sure to select this is you have this feature as the foot will lift up when you stop at the corner and it will be so much easier to turn the corners.

  • Sew all the way around but leave a section of about 5-6 inches open.

Make sure you have needle down selected so that your needle drops into the mitered fold just before you turn the corner.

  • Join the binding tails with your preferred method.

What will you make today with your favorite JANOME machine and feet?


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Well, technically the Janome cloth guide is not a foot……..but it is a machine attachment which comes standard with many of our machine models and which is worth its weight in gold!  There are several types of Janome cloth guides and you might recognise one or more of them in the pic below. Perhaps you are not sure what it is for or how to use it?

  1. This guide is sometimes also called the seam guide and comes standard with some of our machines. It can also be purchased as an optional accessory. 
    The next photo shows it attached to the machine. The green (or other colour?) screw allows you to move the guide left to right to vary the width of seam or top stitching you may require.

2. The photo below shows our clear plexiglass cloth guide which comes standard with some other models in our Janome line. It can be used on some models with a free arm as it clips or slides onto the free arm and then is manually moved side to side to obtain the width away from the stitching required for the project. The fabric edge feeds against the little “wall” or guide. It is most effective for many different applications from 1/4 inch piecing to sewing deep hems on projects like aprons or drapes.

This shows how the cloth guide clips onto the back of the free arm.

3. The next option is a fully automated cloth guide which attaches to the closed embroidery arm of some of our embroidery machine models. It attaches with a very similar turn key as with the embroidery hoops.  Generally this cloth guide is a standard accessory with these embroidery machine models.

The operation of the cloth guide is done on the LCD screen of the machine under the cloth guide icon.

There is a wide range of measurements available and in tiny increments of 1/16 of an inch. (These measurements are also available as metric by simply choosing the unit of measurement in the SET menu.)

Here the cloth guide has been set at 5/8 inch. The black fabric is lined up against the cloth guide and is 5/8 inch away from the needle. This works well for any measurement from 0-8 1/4 inches

Lots of options for measuring the amount of seam you want; or the distance you may wish top stitching or decorative embellishment from the edge of something. For example, a cute little decorative stitch 2 or 3 inches up from the bottom of a hemline? Or a line of top stitching further away from the edge of the fabric than guiding along one of our Jnaome feet will allow?

Janome sure thinks of everything! 

Posted in Janome Foot of the month series, JANOME FOOT SERIES | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Sewing with waxed canvas

Waxed canvas has become a popular material to work with in the bag making community. The wax makes the canvas waterproof and easy to clean which makes it an ideal fabric for bags. With use, it also develops a lovely crinkled and worn look that gives your bags a unique patina.

While writing my Waterlily waxed canvas tote pattern, I did a lot of research on waxed canvas before attempting to work with it.  I’ve prepared a list of tips when sewing with waxed canvas that I would love to share with all of you.

Waxed Canvas Pouch

To help demonstrate these tips, I have chosen to make one of my most popular free patterns, the clematis wristlet. Please feel free to download the pattern and follow along!

Keeping in mind that you can’t use fusible interfacing on waxed canvas, I cut out all of my fabric and interfacing pieces with some minor changes:

Using the EXTERIOR TOP A pattern piece, I cut out a pretty floral waxed canvas print. I did NOT cut out any interfacing using this pattern piece because as I just mentioned, it’s impossible to fuse interfacing to waxed fabric. Next, I cut out my EXTERIOR BOTTOM B pieces in cork fabric, again leaving out any interfacing since cork should not have any heat applied to it. 

Instead of an 8” zipper, I am using some of my zipper tape by the metre.  I cut a piece of zipper tape that is 9” long and 2 zipper tab pieces in the floral waxed canvas.

Since I need some type of interfacing for this pouch to give it structure, I cut out my lining fabric and fusible woven interfacing pieces as instructed in the pattern for LINING C and SLIP POCKET D pattern pieces. Then I cut an additional 2 pieces of fusible fleece from the LINING C pattern piece which I will fuse to the wrong side of the fabric, on top of the woven fusible interfacing.

NOTE: I have omitted the D-ring strap and the wrist strap. 

Before you start sewing:

1. Use a size 16 or 18 needle. A denim or sharp (microtex) work best with canvas. I’ve also successfully used a size 16 topstitch needle when using heavy thread on my Janome HD9.

2. Use a longer stitch length of at least 3 or 3.5. This will make your seams slightly more waterproof because there are less holes than with a shorter stitch length. When I made this pouch, I used a stitch length of 4 for regular sewing and 6 for topstitching on the Janome HD9 with heavy weight thread. When sewing the lining with regular weight thread, I used a stitch length of 2.5.

A stitch length of 4 for assembly
A stitch length of 6 for topstitching

3. Once you’ve cut your waxed canvas pieces, zig zag stitch all of the edges to prevent fraying. Try to keep your zig zag stitches less than 1/4” wide to keep within the seam allowance. Since my Janome HD9 does not have a zig zag stitch, I pulled out my Janome Sewist 625e to zig zag the edges of my exterior waxed canvas pieces.

4. You don’t really need to press waxed canvas. Finger pressing or a seam roller usually work fine be­cause the wax helps it keep its shape. If you need to press out creases, use a pressing cloth under your canvas as well as on top to prevent wax build up on your iron. When making this pouch, I finger pressed my zipper tabs before attaching them to the ends of my zipper.

I also finger pressed my seam allowance when top stitching the seam along the top edge of my exterior bottom piece.
And lastly, I pulled my exterior and lining pieces away from the zipper and finger pressed the seam along the zipper while topstitching.

5. Do not use a fabric pen on waxed canvas. It can easily be scored with a finger nail and then simply rub off with your finger tip. Also, use CLIPS and not pins for waxed canvas.

6. If you need a bag that is 100% waterproof, you will need to apply brush-on seam sealer or tape to your seams. 

7. Once you’ve completed a waxed canvas project, make sure to clean your machine – especially the bed of your machine, the bobbin and bobbin case and the feed dogs. I use the small bristle brush that came with my Janome HD9 to clean my feed dogs and my bobbin case then wipe clean with a cloth. I use a cotton swab to clean my presser foot and my hook race.

Want to wax your own canvas?

Here in Canada, I found it difficult to purchase waxed canvas at a reasonable price. It can be very expensive! With some research, I came across several videos and blogs that showed various waxing techniques and came across a method that really worked well for me. I’ve prepared a YouTube video for anyone who might be interested in trying to wax their own canvas. I’ve used this method to wax canvas prints and even interfaced quilt weight cotton!

More waxed canvas project ideas

The Coneflower Cross Body Bag
The Waterlily Waxed Canvas Tote
Posted in Janome HD9, Janome Professional HD9 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments